Media ReleaseFrom: The Royal Society
Empethy: Pawsitively sad: Pet-owners are more sensitive to negative emotion in animal distress vocalisations
We are all familiar with the sounds of a cat or dog vying for human attention. For pet-owners, these sounds may be particularly evocative. This study, testing more than 500 young adults, found that pet owners perceive cat meows and dog whimpers as significantly sadder than adults with no pets. Regardless of pet ownership, the dog sounds were rated as sadder than the cat sounds, in fact as sad as human baby cries. We also found no differences between adults with and without pets on their symptoms of depression, anxiety or self-reported experiences in close relationships.